David Whyte

I want to write about faith,
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night,

faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
sliver of light before the final darkness.

But I have no faith myself
I refuse it even the smallest entry.

Let this then, my small poem,
like a new moon, slender and barely open,
be the first prayer that opens me to faith.

view the whole poem here

As we approach this new December moon and I see that sliver of light between the night clouds, I am reminded of this small poem that has been a faithful companion for many years.

When I think of faith, I am not thinking of it in the religious sense, but rather meaning a belief in someone or something, often difficult to articulate.¬† Even when I cannot see it, the way the moon rises…night after night is something I have found to be steady and comforting.

It faithfully moves from that bright fullness that we love to see, to the final darkness that seems to be nothingness, by slowly becoming that last curving and impossible sliver of light – impossible and yet there it is in the night sky.

When we have no faith, refuse it even the smallest entry, here is this small, exquisite poem which offers to be a prayer like a new moon, slender and barely open, opening us to having faith in someone or something.

Even when the clouds veil the moon, we know it is there, constant, constantly changing. If you look for this new moon as it begins, once again, to open, perhaps you too will be opened to a faith for which you are longing.

6 thoughts on “Faith

  1. Dear Jan,

    This is an exquisite poem and your reflections on it add heft to its slender shape. December’s holiday wishes should all be so eloquent.

    Thank you,


  2. Jan,
    Thanks so much for this reminder, as I find myself getting wrapped up in the busy energy. I’m reminded to have faith that all will be ok and my life is blessed!


  3. Thank you for this offering. The poem and your words reminds me of a personal inquiry about devotion. Maybe the smallest entry starts with asking myself what or who I am devoted to…


  4. Faith in scientific realities & knowledge in no way diminishes the awe and delight we feel when the sun comes up; a rainbow appears; a comet passes; the moon cycles each month; the seasons change with glorious natural beauty presented in the landscape, sea and animals.
    What saddens me is the necessity to somehow link that to spirituality or imaginary beings or gods.


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